Monday, October 26, 2015

The Seven Factors of Awakening

Chapter 26 The Seven Factors of Awakening
(from "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" by Thich Nhat Hanh)

1. Seven Factors of Awakening:
(1) Mindfulness
(2) Investigation (of phenomena)
(3) Diligence (energy, effort, perseverance)
(4) Joy
(5) Ease (relaxation)
(6) Concentration
(7) Letting go (equanimity)

2. My understanding of awakening path:
(1) The Four Noble Truths
(2) The Noble Eightfold Path
(3) The Four Establishments of Mindfulness (The Sutra of  Four 

     Foundations of Mindfulness) ⇒
(4) The Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing (The Sutra on 

     Mindful Breathing, or Sixteen exercises on mindful breathing) 
(5) The Heart Sutra ⇒
(6) The Seven Factors of Awakening
(7) The Four Immeasurable Minds

[can be categorized as follows: ]
(1)-(2): the whole picture
(3)-(6): the concrete practice methods
(6)-(7): the fruits through the practice


3. Existence or Manifestation (Reality or Appearance)
Thay wrote, ’But if you look around, you will never find an
"I": ego (Manas, separate self)

* The reality does not exist as it appears.
(1) The manifesting thing is not always existing.
* Ego manifests although it doesn't exist. 

   (Appearance without Reality)
* Ego is like feelings, movies and rainbows.
* Ego causes illusions or delusions as if they exist. That's 

   because all of them are projections of mind.
* Ego misunderstands that they exist because they manifest.
* However, those phenomena do not always exist even if they 

   manifest. (Manifestation without Existence)
(2) The non-manifesting thing is not always non-existing.
* Every matter including humans exists even if it doesn't 

   manifest. (Reality without Appearance)
* Every matter is like happiness, the flame of a match and a wave 

   in the ocean.
* Ego causes illusions or delusions as if they don't exist. That's 

   because all of them are the object of mind and can't be 
   projected without manifestations. They don't manifest when the 
   conditions are not sufficient.
* Ego misunderstands that they don't exist because they don't 

* However, every matter always exists even if it doesn't manifest. 

   (Existence without Manifestation)

"I": awareness (non-separate self, true self)
I say, ’"I" can see the true nature of reality (real existence) without getting caught by appearance (manifestation) which is illusion or delusion’. 

Let us realize the fruit of arhatship and have a breakthrough for our shining presence!